Indian court effectively bans madrassas in Uttar Pradesh before election


New Dehli: 23 March 2024: A court in India has essentially banned Islamic schools in the country’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, a move that could further distance Muslims from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government ahead of general elections.

Friday’s ruling scraps a 2004 law governing madrassas in Uttar Pradesh (UP), claiming it violates India’s constitutional secularism and ordering that students be moved to conventional schools.

The Allahabad High Court order affects 2.7 million students and 10,000 teachers in 25,000 madrassas, said Iftikhar Ahmed Javed, head of the board of madrassa education in UP, where one-fifth of the 240m people are Muslims.

“The state government shall also ensure that children between the ages of 6 to 14 years are not left without admission in duly recognised institutions,” Judges Subhash Vidyarthi and Vivek Chaudhary wrote in their order, which was made based on an appeal by lawyer Anshuman Singh Rathore.

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